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Mike Zimmer doesn’t want Xavier Rhodes to get comfortable on one side

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 3: Xavier Rhodes #29 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the ball after intercepting New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning #10 in the third quarter of the game on October 3, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Vikings assigned cornerback Xavier Rhodes to cover Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on Monday night, an approach that worked well for the Vikings and for Rhodes. On Tuesday, coach Mike Zimmer explained the rationale for moving Rhodes out of his potential comfort zone.

“We have evidence that [Rhodes] can play both sides and that’s always a good thing,” Zimmer told reporters a day after Minnesota’s 24-10 win. “You see guys do it in practice, but you never really know. I don’t know why but corners tend to get comfortable playing one side or the other. The way they break and do things, they tend to get comfortable. So if you have evidence they can do it I think it allows to do things. He wasn’t covering him one-on-one all night, it wasn’t like that. He came out of the game some. [Terence] Newman went over there. Hopefully we mix up the coverages that we played a little bit.”

It’s a smart approach. Ultimately, guys like Josh Norman and Richard Sherman stay on one side of the formation because they’re comfortable there. Making them move around keeps them from getting so comfortable that they don’t want to move.

It happens on both sides of the ball, with receivers and defensive backs. Often, it’s an issue at the Pro Bowl, where a glut of players who play one specific spot at receiver or corner have to figure out who will play in his preferred location, and who won’t.

In today’s NFL, versatility is the key, for any player. As Rhodes gains notices as one of the top defensive backs in the game, his ability to move around will help him maintain that status, and to build upon it.

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38 Responses to “Mike Zimmer doesn’t want Xavier Rhodes to get comfortable on one side”
  1. angelogiaquinto18 says: Oct 4, 2016 9:07 PM

    Rhodes sure has become a shutdown corner! Just have to keep him healthy!

  2. diveleft says: Oct 4, 2016 9:12 PM

    He seems to get nicked up quite a bit, but if he stay healthy the sky is the limit for him.

  3. letsberealpeople says: Oct 4, 2016 9:18 PM

    Everyone should be a fan of this guy. He doesn’t rant about being the best, he doesn’t talk down to his opponents (even whiny OBJ). He respects his opponents, praises his team, and gives credit to his coach.

    If you like good guys, root for X!

  4. billbrasky72 says: Oct 4, 2016 9:33 PM

    Best CB in the league right now. He doesn’t get ton of picks, but when he is assigned to a receiver he completely shuts them down. Ask Odell Beckum, Julio Jones, Kelvin Benjamin and Calvin Johnson.

  5. In Teddy We Trust says: Oct 4, 2016 9:47 PM

    Rhodes often moves around so he can stay on the other team’s top receiver, but I’m impressed that the other cornerbacks can come in to give him a break and do the job, too. That’s a combination of great coaching and great talent.

    #RhodesIsland
    #RhodesClosed

  6. purplepillager says: Oct 4, 2016 9:54 PM

    Even as a rookie, Rhodes showed that someday he would be a #1 corner. Under Fraizer, Rhodes was decent. Under Zimmer, Rhodes is a rockstar.

    As much as I really enjoyed watching Antoine Winfield, Rhodes might be better.

    Right now, Trae Waynes is raw but he makes plays when it matters. By the end of the year, Rhodes and Waynes will be the best duo corners in the league. Newman, Munnerlyn, and Alexander round up to what might be the best group of CBs the Vikings have ever had.

  7. cribbage12 says: Oct 4, 2016 10:00 PM

    Wow that Zimmer is smart. Is he always thinking of things first?

    I think he also said he didn’t want Blair Walsh to miss field goals.

  8. vikingsmandotdie says: Oct 4, 2016 10:01 PM

    1 or 2 more years Rodes next shut down CB

  9. ninefingers9 says: Oct 4, 2016 10:01 PM

    Zimerol and Norvicane! The only PED’s the Vikings need.

  10. fijabbersman345 says: Oct 4, 2016 10:35 PM

    Often, it’s an issue at the Pro Bowl, where a glut of players who play one specific spot at receiver or corner have to figure out who will play in his preferred location, and who won’t.

    ——————————————

    I can see it now…

    “OH NO WE DRAFTED FIVE RIGHT CORNERBACKS WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO”

    biggest non-issue in the history of the world.

  11. tremoluxman says: Oct 4, 2016 10:48 PM

    The X-Man ain’t afraid to play press on anyone. He’s not a loud-mouth off the field, but he’s not reluctant to get in an opponent’s grill during the game. Turning into a shut-down player.

  12. twinfan24 says: Oct 4, 2016 11:22 PM

    Seems like a team has a lot more options if they can move guys around a little, as long as they can handle the other spots.

  13. sojudaddy says: Oct 4, 2016 11:22 PM

    This guy is going to be straight up stud if he hasn’t reached that level already. He will be the next Revis Island for the Vikings.

  14. mnfaninil says: Oct 4, 2016 11:24 PM

    The kids is a stud, but Waynes is coming on and in another year he will be just as good. Throw in Alexander and you have three very good young defensive backs to go with Smith, Barr, Kendricks, Griffen, Hunter, Joseph and Floyd. All are 28 or younger, Hunter is still only 21. This defense will be good for a long time.

  15. numba1wiscosportsfan says: Oct 4, 2016 11:30 PM

    Good player! I’d take him over Randle on my PACK. GO PACK!

    >

  16. stiffarm13 says: Oct 4, 2016 11:47 PM

    He got away with two cheap shot hits after Beckham stepped out of bounds without any flag …. Minnesota must be the commissioners darling team this year….numerous penalties, not a flag thrown….couldn’t keep track of all the illegal touching the receiver after five yards or all the holding and hands in the face mask by the offensive line …. It’s funny how such a brutal offensive line can go through a couple games without a holding penalty except for that one towards end of game when it didn’t matter

  17. finchy74 says: Oct 5, 2016 12:10 AM

    cribbage12 says:
    Oct 4, 2016 10:00 PM
    Wow that Zimmer is smart. Is he always thinking of things first?
    —————————————————–
    Yes, I would say he’s on the short list of the top coaches in the league.

    Compared to Leave it to Beaver (your coach), he’s Einstein, Tesla, Maxwell and Newton all rolled into one.

  18. purplepride11 says: Oct 5, 2016 12:16 AM

    Boohoo do the giants need penalties to win ? Sure seems like the fans think that way, and their golden boy OBJ can do no wrong.
    Just yesterday a woman in NYC had a 28 pound baby, it is on record to be the 2nd biggest baby behind OBJ.

  19. thisistheonlygame says: Oct 5, 2016 12:34 AM

    Let’s stop with the conspiracy theories. The NFL officials are not instructed to favor a certain team. Obama is not a foreigner. Bush administration did not plan 9/11. And the US did not fake the moon landing.

  20. skol4life says: Oct 5, 2016 7:51 AM

    Hard to zero in on the best defensive player on this team but Rhodes is in the conversation.

  21. idurenn says: Oct 5, 2016 8:18 AM

    He got away with two cheap shot hits after Beckham stepped out of bounds without any flag …. Minnesota must be the commissioners darling team this year….numerous penalties, not a flag thrown….couldn’t keep track of all the illegal touching the receiver after five yards or all the holding and hands in the face mask by the offensive line …. It’s funny how such a brutal offensive line can go through a couple games without a holding penalty except for that one towards end of game when it didn’t matter
    _________________________________________
    I admit, the second out of bounds hit was cheap, and there should have been a flag.

    Odell got away with a few hands to the face on Xavier leading up to Odells meltdown. No flags.

    What about when Theilen got robbed on a 40 yard pass because your corner was holding his arm? No flag.

    Is this how you Giants fans rationalize a loss? Blaming it on fixed games and poor reffing? Grow up. It goes both ways.

  22. heat1up says: Oct 5, 2016 8:30 AM

    @stiffarm13 you are so right. The Minnesota D line slammed the Giants running back into the ground and no flag. Forward motion had been stopped, whistle had been blown. No flag.

  23. igocommando says: Oct 5, 2016 8:55 AM

    Dear stiffarm13,
    Waaaaaah!

    Ps) I will agree with you on that non call for PI against Thielen, it was pretty brutal.

  24. threalwash says: Oct 5, 2016 9:25 AM

    He got away with two cheap shot hits after Beckham stepped out of bounds without any flag …. Minnesota must be the commissioners darling team this year….numerous penalties, not a flag thrown….couldn’t keep track of all the illegal touching the receiver after five yards or all the holding and hands in the face mask by the offensive line …. It’s funny how such a brutal offensive line can go through a couple games without a holding penalty except for that one towards end of game when it didn’t matter
    __________________________________
    Obviously a disgruntled Giant fan. The pendulum swings both ways. Your CB could have been called for PI on numerous occasions.

  25. ariani1985 says: Oct 5, 2016 9:39 AM

    Wisconsinfavoriteson,

    I would take my dog over Randall! turd Thompson sure is a genius for drafting crappy basketball players.

  26. stellarperformance says: Oct 5, 2016 10:47 AM

    Randall will find his footing for the Packers. Nobody’s worried. Quinten Rollins is doing great on the other side. His Div 1 basketball skills, including leading the league in steals, really helps his lateral movement and close-in parallel coverage abilities. He’s another keeper.

  27. beer4guy says: Oct 5, 2016 10:59 AM

    Rhodes has been a stud for a couple of years now but has flown under the radar, where I was hoping he’d stay until the Vikes signed him to his next contract. Unfortunately, his price tag is going up. The Vikings have so much young talent on defense, I don’t see how they are going to be able to keep them together for more than 2-3 years.

  28. fmc651 says: Oct 5, 2016 11:44 AM

    It helps Zim’s Reaper’s if his CB’s can play both corners. It is smart move not sure why other teams don’t do it.

  29. All Knowing says: Oct 5, 2016 11:45 AM

    He had to play Rhodes in a game to find this out? And this fathead is the head coach? Hey pillsbury doughboy, put down the donuts and come out of you office once in a while!

  30. stellarperformance says: Oct 5, 2016 12:51 PM

    The Vikings need him on the field. If he can cover without holding and getting called for pass interference every play, he’s an asset. Because all the rest of their DB’s do.

  31. Frazier28/7 says: Oct 5, 2016 1:21 PM

    please don’t compare Randall to Rhodes after he was torched 2 weeks in a row while Rhodes shut down 2 of the games best WRs 2 weeks in a row.

    I can’t wait to see the stat line after the Giants play Green Bay and how many yards Eli puts up against that pathetic secondary.

  32. mnvikes1961 says: Oct 5, 2016 3:16 PM

    stellarperformance says:
    Oct 5, 2016 10:47 AM

    Randall will find his footing for the Packers. Nobody’s worried. Quinten Rollins is doing great on the other side. His Div 1 basketball skills, including leading the league in steals, really helps his lateral movement and close-in parallel coverage abilities. He’s another keeper.
    ______________

    I’m sure that once he finds his footing, the footing nobody was worried about, the Packers and Vikings D will be practically equal when compared by NFL, Inc. You know-the guys that run the show.

  33. beer4guy says: Oct 5, 2016 3:31 PM

    Come on now, the Vikings D isn’t better than the Packers D, they’re just “lucky” to be practically equal. The Vikes were “lucky” to beat the Packers in Lambeau last year. They were “lucky” to beat the Packers this year. Oh wait, no, that was because of the refs. And they’re just so very “lucky” to be 4-0 this year. I can’t wait for them to get “lucky” again on Sunday and beat the Texans.

  34. stellarperformance says: Oct 5, 2016 4:01 PM

    mnvikes1961 says:
    Oct 5, 2016 3:16 PM
    I’m sure that once he finds his footing, the footing nobody was worried about, the Packers and Vikings D will be practically equal when compared by NFL, Inc. You know-the guys that run the show.
    ////////////////////////////////////

    Good. You’re catching on. That wasn’t so hard, was it? Within two months we’ll see who’s a contender and who’s a pretender. Enjoy your pomposity while you can.

  35. shaggytoodle says: Oct 5, 2016 5:16 PM

    Comparing Rhodes and Randall is one of the sillier things I have seen here lately, a player starting his 4th or 5th season. In the NFL in his PRIME to a guy that hasn’t played 20 regular season games yet. Viking fans would rather do that than talk about the company he does belong with.

    As far as the Vikings getting “lucky” they beat who was on their schedule, which is what you want to do, but outside of the Packers they haven’t beat a team that I bet would make the playoffs this year,

    Carolina is having a hangover from last season and I don’t buy the Giants who spent tons of money in the off season due to poor drafting making the GM try to save his job. or Titans for one minute. Good luck vs. the Texans this weekend, I just wish Watt was playing so we could see if that Oline in Minny. Continues to improve or it was a poor performance cby the Giants D.

  36. brewdogg says: Oct 5, 2016 6:48 PM

    Stellar….you took the high road a couple days ago. Don’t let the Vikings vesions of coyote get you down. Just roll with it and let’s see where everyone stands aroung week 10. Looking forward to a few QBs that don’t have shiny personal hardware the next few weeks.

  37. vikingprideforever says: Oct 5, 2016 7:47 PM

    there is an old saying some of you should take a look at. “it’s better to say nothing and have the world think you’re an idiot, than open your mouth and prove it.” some of you should really stop posting on here.

  38. stellarperformance says: Oct 5, 2016 8:03 PM

    brewdogg says:
    Oct 5, 2016 6:48 PM
    Stellar….you took the high road a couple days ago. Don’t let the Vikings vesions of coyote get you down. Just roll with it and let’s see where everyone stands aroung week 10. Looking forward to a few QBs that don’t have shiny personal hardware the next few weeks.
    //////////////////////////////////

    Duly noted……

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